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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 995 ..

Thursday, 13 March 2003

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Matter of public importance-proposed

MR SPEAKER: Members, this morning Mr Pratt lodged an MPI concerning the recent government inquiry into education funding.

Standing order 130 states that a matter on the notice paper must not be anticipated by a matter of public importance, an amendment or other less effective form of proceeding.

Private member's business notice No 20 is listed on today's notice paper in Mr Pratt's name and canvasses the same matter that is the subject of the MPI.

Having carefully considered the issues, I have concluded that the MPI would be anticipating debate on the item listed on the notice paper. I am therefore ruling Mr Pratt's MPI out of order as it contravenes standing order 130.

Agents Bill 2003

Mr Stanhope , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Agents Bill 2003 replaces the old Agents Act 1968 and the regulations made under it. The Agents Bill exemplifies the government's determination to improve the commercial environment in which consumers and real estate, stock and station, and business, travel and employment agents interact. The new Agents Bill will deliver a cost-effective, streamlined, independent licensing and disciplinary system that is more accessible, transparent and accountable to the ACT community.

The Agents Bill represents the first major revision of this legislation since 1968 and, importantly, introduces a level of consumer protection noticeably absent from the old legislation. Not only will consumers of agents' services benefit from the proposed reforms; so, too, will agents and their employees.

In framing this bill, the government has concluded an extensive consultation process with interested parties, including key representatives of the real estate industry, the Agents Board, the Canberra Institute of Technology and community groups. All submissions have supported the proposed major reforms in this legislation.

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